Somali Prime Minister Mohamad Ali Samater will travel to the United States, Britain and Canada to counter new charges of atrocities against civilians in northern Somalia, government radio said.

Separate delegations will be sent to Europe and the Middle East to "explain to leaders and officials in these countries the actual situation in Somalia," said a text of the official broadcast received in Nairobi Friday.The U.S.-backed Somali military has come under harsh criticism in recent days, with an Australian aid group announcing it was leaving the country because of torture, massacres and other atrocities in the north.